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68 Attend Spirituality And Mental Health Conference At Zem Zem Banquet And Conference Center

Wednesday Sept. 7th was a beautiful day to dedicate time for recognizing and learning about ways spirituality can enhance mental health recovery. 68 consumers, service providers and religious convened to hear messages of hope and empowerment in morning sessions and, after a filling lunch, be treated to the experience of deep relaxation and thought/feeling streaming while experiencing the sound and resonance of gongs, bells and other metallic percussion.

First speaker for the day was Colleen Vanderzyden, certified Spiritual Life Coach, healer and registered medium presented her story of transformation and the importance of being true to oneself and be able to call upon a greater power if you so choose. The Reverend Mary Jo Snyder of the Consumer Health Coalition followed with a presentation on empowerment and advocacy for oneself and for systems change highlighting the importance of being an informed, prepared and assertive consumer of health services. The afternoon session was provided by Mike and Gallina Tamburo from Crown of Eternity who, after an orientation to their use of sound in meditation, invited attendees to close their eyes, create a relaxed state and then be immersed in a cascade of sound produced from an array of metal instruments.

Dave Wooledge, MHA’s Peer Support Team Leader, performed MC duties and we thank LuAnn Gossett and Mary Sackett from MHA admin. for organizing and overseeing registration and certificate distribution. The Spirituality and Mental Health Conference Committee chaired by Wendy Jacobs of Erie County Office of Mental Health/Intellectual Disabilities did another great job of organizing the event. We are all looking forward to next year’s 15th annual conference.

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